29 January 2010

inspiration comes from weird places...

i got some great writing advice yesterday. from a bassist. and not just any bassist, folks. Victor Wooten of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

and it was indirect. but you know us writers--we find inspiration and advice anywhere.

mr. wooten was talking about technique. and he said the most incredible thing: "when you think about the technique, you lose the music." okay, paraphrased. i've slept since then.

he told the questioner that the bass was in the way. take away the bass, stop focusing on the bass, and you'll hear the music. you'll make the music. so when the guy stopped focusing on the bass and stopped focusing on technique, he made music. seriously good music, too. mr. wooten's next words: "you're gonna have to stop, else you'll show me up!"

what i got from this: when you worry about technique, you lose the story. or the query, which is what i've been racking my brain over for the last week or so. so i took his advice. i took myself away from worrying about the technique. i removed the query from my thought, and i simply wrote. by 4AM, i had a much better letter than when i had racked my brain about it.

so, allow me to focus mr. wooten's advice to writing. writers feel the story the same way that musicians feel music. like they know technique and theory, we know characters' motives and actions. like they know notes, we know plot. with those aspects alone, we can write a decent story. but, like the great musicians, we have to dig deeper. it's great to know all that stuff, and once you have it down, you throw it out the window. you move beyond it into the realm of creating and weaving a story so that it becomes real.

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